Deconstructing motor skills

first_imgHitting the perfect tennis serve requires hours and hours of practice, but for scientists who study complex motor behaviors, there always has been a large unanswered question — what is the brain learning from those hours spent on the court? Is it simply the timing required to hit the perfect serve, or is it the precise path along which to move the hand?The answer, Harvard researchers say, is both — but in separate circuits.Bence Ölveczky, the John L. Loeb Associate Professor of the Natural Sciences, has found that the brain uses two largely independent neural circuits to learn the temporal and spatial aspects of a motor skill. The study is described in a Sept. 26 paper in Neuron.“What we’re studying is the structure of motor-skill learning,” Ölveczky said. “What we were able to show is that the brain divides something that’s complex into modules — in this case for timing and for motor implementation — as a way to take advantage of the hierarchical structure of the motor system, and it imprints learning at the different levels independently.”To tease out how those independent circuits operate, Ölveczky and his colleagues turned to a creature well-known for its ability to learn — the zebra finch. The tiny birds are regularly used in studies of learning because each male learns to sing a unique song from its father.In a series of experiments, Ölveczky’s team used traditional conditioning techniques to change the timing of a bird’s song by speeding up or slowing down certain “syllables” in the song. They could also change which vocal muscles were activated and have the bird sing at a higher or lower pitch.“But when you change the pitch of a syllable, the duration doesn’t change, and when you change the duration the pitch doesn’t change,” Ölveczky said. “It appears the neural circuits for the two features are separate.”Additional evidence that the circuits for learning motor implementation and timing are distinct came when researchers lesioned the basal ganglia of the birds — the region of the brain long thought to play a critical role in song learning.“The thinking had been that there was one circuit for song-learning in general,” Ölveczky said. “We found that if we lesioned the basal ganglia and repeated the pitch-shift experiment, the bird could no longer use the information it got from our feedback to change its behavior — in other words, it couldn’t learn.”Experiments aimed at changing the birds’ timing, however, were just as effective, suggesting two separate learning circuits — with only one involving the basal ganglia.Such independence and modularity is critical, Ölveczky said, because it allows different features of a behavior to be modified independently if circumstances change. Parallel learning of different features can also speed up the learning process and enable the flexibility we see in birdsong and many human motor skills.“If you learn something — it could be your tennis serve, or it could be any behavior — and you need to slow it down or speed it up to fit some new contingency, you don’t have to completely re-learn the whole thing, you can just change the timing, and everything else will remain exactly the same.“In fact, ‘slow practice,’ a technique used by many piano and dance teachers, makes good use of this modularity,” Ölveczky said. “Students are first taught to perform the movements of a piece slowly. Once they have learned it, all they need to do is get the timing right. The technique works because the two processes — motor implementation and timing — do not interfere with each other.”The hope among researchers, Ölveczky said, is that a better understanding of how birds learn complex motor tasks such as singing unique songs will help shed new light on the neural underpinnings of learning in humans.“For us, this is inspiration to look at similar types of questions in mammals,” he said. “The flexibility with which we can alter the spatial and temporal structure of our motor output is similar to songbirds, but our understanding of how the mammalian brain implements the underlying learning process is not anywhere near as advanced as for songbirds. The intriguing parallels in both circuitry and behavior, however, suggest a general principle of how the brain parses the motor skill learning process.”last_img read more

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No New COVID-19 Cases Reported Sunday In Chautauqua County

first_imgShare:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window) Photo: Governor Tom Wolf / CC BY 2.0MAYVILLE – The Chautauqua County COVID-19 Response Team says there were no new cases of the novel Coronavirus reported Sunday.Officials say 21 people remain under a mandatory quarantine, 38 in precautionary quarantine and 22 are placed under mandatory isolation because they are symptomatic of the virus and lab test results are pending.So far the county has received 87 negative test results to date.Health officials continue to meet daily and urge residents to stay home. When in public officials ask residents to follow social distancing guidelines. last_img read more

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Women Will Have to Save America in 2016

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York [dropcap]T[/dropcap]his weekend in New York City, Hillary Clinton is set to hold her first official full-scale campaign rally for the 2016 presidential election. She’ll be speaking Saturday on Roosevelt Island, named after FDR not his First Lady, Eleanor, which would have been more appropriate considering the historic kickoff like the one Clinton is making.Let’s look at the big picture and see how far she’s come—and how far we still have to go.Next November some American women who were born when they, their mothers and their sisters all lacked the right to vote may get to actually elect the first woman president. And New York will have made it possible in more ways than one.The woman’s suffrage movement took off upstate in Seneca Falls in the summer of 1848. If Clinton had chosen that venue for her big campaign event, I suppose the symbolism might have been too much for some squeamish men-folk and their female enablers to handle.But it’s not like that reactionary crowd lacks inspiration. If only we could hold this election this fall, we might be spared some of the calumnies to come. Instead, we’ll have to withstand months and months of poisonous prevarication, pusillanimous punditry, and preposterous pomposity proliferated by the plutocrats and their plebeians just to feed every insatiable news cycle until Nov. 8, 2016. So much verbiage will be wasted signifying nothing while so many important problems facing our country and the planet will go unaddressed—and too many people will continue to suffer until their needs are met.Reading a recent snarky column by Maureen Dowd sliming Hillary Clinton for the umpteenth time (with many more columns still to come) I was reminded of my first encounter with the leading Democratic nominee after she’d just become New York’s first woman Senator. Typical of some of our state’s highest achievers, she was born somewhere else—in her case, Chicago—and you can still hear traces of her Midwestern roots today when she speaks.New York voters had welcomed the former first lady after she and her husband moved to Westchester County. Showing unabashed support for the local boy, Newsday had endorsed her Long Island-born Republican opponent, 42-year-old four-termer Rep. Rick Lazio. Whether it was the worst endorsement Newsday ever made is debatable. Regardless, Lazio lost by a double-digit margin. As Clinton told the TV cameras in her victory speech, “Today we voted as Republicans and Democrats. Tomorrow we begin again as New Yorkers.”It was in that spirit of reconciliation that she came to Newsday to meet with the publisher, the editorial board and the op-ed department, which then included me. There, in the belly of the beast, so to speak, she was clearly amused at the situation and the apparent discomfort of our publisher who had sided with Lazio. She could have gloated, rubbed her triumph in his face, but she didn’t. She was gracious, charming, lively and intelligent—perhaps the smartest one in the room.And there I was, sitting across the polished mahogany conference table in the publisher’s spacious office, eye to eye with the most hated woman in America, thanks to Rush Limbaugh and his ilk, and I was smitten. Of course, as friends and enemies would say, I’m gullible to begin with. But I admired her character, her strength, her sense of humor. My female colleagues, particularly our columnist at the time, Marie Cocco, didn’t want to cut her any slack, but so be it. Was it professional envy? Perhaps. As well as lingering resentment over the way she’d botched the Clinton administration’s health insurance reform by trying to keep it all under wraps. And there was also no doubt some disgust that she’d let her philandering husband mistreat her like the female subject of a country western song.But she did so well representing the Empire State she won a second term. Her first attempt to win the White House didn’t go so well but she did end up as secretary of state serving in the administration of the man who’d beaten her for the Democratic nomination.Last summer throngs of women and men lined the blocks around the Book Revue in Huntington when Clinton was on tour plugging “Hard Choices,” her 635-page memoir of her work leading the State Department. Across the corner on New York Avenue a small cadre accused her of “lying” about Benghazi but they hardly got a rise out of her fans—some had been camped outside since 11 p.m. the night before. Once inside the store, their excitement at meeting Clinton was palpable. These are the people she’ll need to come out to the polls in every state across the country if she’s going to win the race. But they will have to do a lot more than celebrity worship if they want her to succeed. The big question about Clinton’s candidacy, as columnists like the Washington Post’s Eugene Robinson has pointed out, is whether she can inspire the coalition that twice elected President Obama—young people, minorities, women—to rally to her side. And that’s just to win her race next November, assuming she’s the Democratic nominee. If she is going to make any progress on Capitol Hill, she’ll need a majority in the Senate and the House to support her positions.I don’t know if the men and women I saw at the Book Revue are up to the task. But it is helpful to remember how long it took New York’s most famous suffragettes, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, before they made any headway in getting their sex the right to vote.As Stanton once wrote:“Night after night by the light of an old-fashioned fireplace, we plotted and planned the coming agitation, how, when, and where each entering wedge could be driven, by which woman might be recognized, and her rights secured…Such battles were fought over and over again.”Fittingly, Stanton’s and Anthony’s nicknames were “Napoleon” and “General.” When they first met in Seneca Falls in 1851, Elizabeth was a 35-year-old mom with four boys, ages nine to three months. Susan was 31 and unmarried.They wouldn’t have met in Seneca Falls had it not been for another New York woman who was a real liberator: Amelia Bloomer, an upstate feminist who advocated that women wear a short skirt and loose trousers to get rid of their constricting whale-boned bodices and “shed the burden of long, heavy skirts;” today her fashion creation is known to us as “bloomers.” Very modest, she refused to take credit for the dress design, let alone profit from it. When we read coverage of what Hillary Clinton is or is not wearing, we should take a moment to praise Ms. Bloomers for making pants-suits possible.Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott organized the first women’s rights convention, which began July 19, 1848 in Seneca Falls. Twenty years later, the amendment to the Constitution was first proposed on Dec. 7, 1868. The goal, according to the National Archives, was universal suffrage, so the 1870 passage of the 15th Amendment, granting black men the right to vote, was regarded as a partial victory. But afterwards progress stalled on what the women hoped would become the 16th Amendment.Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee in the 2016 race for the White House, was the first woman US Senator in New York State.In the 1872 election in Rochester, Susan B. Anthony registered to vote and dared to cast a ballot even though she knew she’d get arrested for “knowingly, wrongfully and unlawfully” voting. She was convicted and fined $100. She vowed she’d never pay a penny. Instead, on Jan. 12, 1874, she petitioned Congress that the fine be remitted because her “conviction was unjust.” Congress rebuffed her. Almost a century later, Congress did approve putting her stern visage on a dollar coin, which was minted from 1979 to 1981, and again in 1999. Despite Anthony being the first woman ever to adorn U.S. currency, her coin never quite caught on, in part because it was about the size of a quarter. On eBay a Susan B. Anthony Dollar apparently ranges from $2.99 to $25.Coin collecting was farthest from the minds of the suffragettes in the 19th century. But you wonder what they would have thought of all the money that Hillary Clinton has to raise just to be a viable candidate in our republic. At least, Clinton should have President Obama on her side this time around. The suffragettes counted on African Americans to help them, too.In 1877 Frederick Douglass, Jr., notably signed the Petition for Woman Suffrage, asking Congress to “prohibit the several States from Disenfranchising United States Citizens on account of Sex.” His name appeared at the top of the column of signatories under the “Colored MEN” heading. Douglass’s famous father, a former slave and leader of the abolition movement, had attended the historic Seneca Falls Convention in 1848, writing an editorial at the time that “in respect to political rights…there can be no reason in the world for denying to woman the elective franchise.”But reason, as it is so wont to do in America, fell on deaf ears.After decades of distractions and setbacks, the tide began to turn. New York adopted woman suffrage in 1917. Interestingly, New Jersey had granted women the right to vote after the Revolution only to rescind it in 1807. Another significant step was taken on May Day in 1917 when the Association of Army Nurses of the Civil War sent a supportive letter to the U.S. House Judiciary Committee. But the opposition wouldn’t go away. The same year, as America entered the First World War, the Women Voters Anti-Suffrage Party of New York circulated its petition to the U.S. Senate. Their argument against making “such a radical change in our government” said that “our country in this hour of peril should be spared the harassing of its public men and the distracting of its people from work for the war…” They quoted one of the measure’s leaders, Mrs. Carrie Chapman Catt, who had urged the amendment’s supporters to wage “a simultaneous campaign in 48 states” and create an “organization in every precinct; activity, agitation, education in every corner. Nothing less than this nation-wide, vigilant, unceasing campaign will win the ratification.”Apparently that’s exactly what it took to get the measure through. At the turn of the 20th century, the momentum was irreversibly on the women’s side. In 1918, President Woodrow Wilson switched positions in favor of enfranchising women. A year later, the House approved the 19th Amendment 304 to 90, and the Senate passed it 56 to 25. Can you imagine how the wives felt being married to those men who’d voted no? The first states to ratify it were Illinois, Wisconsin and Michigan; on Aug. 24, 1920, Tennessee became the crucial 36th state to follow suit, and so the amendment became law. Interestingly, Maryland didn’t get around to ratifying the amendment until 1941.A year from now an American woman may lead this country. About time, I say.When I look at the men the Republican Party now has running for president, I can hear them saying, “Hey, my billionaire’s bigger than yours!” But when I hear Hillary Clinton finally saying the obvious—that she’s willing to put up with all the crap the most vile right-wing minds can muster in order to win the White House—I grin. If those guys want to throw bad money after good, I say, bring it on, boys.As Abigail Adams famously wrote her husband John in March 1776 while he was in Philadelphia with the Continental Congress (and long before she herself became First Lady), “Do not put such unlimited power in the hands of husbands. Remember, all men would be tyrants if they could.”Let’s be clear who Hillary Clinton is—and who she is not. She wouldn’t be on the campaign hustings had not Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton come first. But she’s not like them. Nor is she nearly as radical as Mother Jones, Emma Goldman, or Sojourner Truth. She’s an upper class woman who graduated from Wellesely College in Massachusetts. No, she’s not as “progressive” as Sen. Elizabeth Warren or Sen. Bernie Sanders. We need those two in the Senate right where they are, but they’re going to need many more colleagues who think like them if we’re going to win the fight for fair pair pay, reproductive rights and the prosperity of the middle class. Not to mention saving Social Security and expanding Medicare.Let’s be glad Clinton is definitely no Carly Fiorina, the Hewlett Packard CEO, who laid off 18,000 workers but was still dumped by her board two years later although she did get a “golden handshake” worth $21 million. What did the unemployed get? Bupkis. What is Fiorina hoping to get by running with the GOP guys? The Republican vice-presidential nomination. But she’s no comedienne, so the joke may be on her.Electing Hillary Clinton president is no laughing matter.You don’t have to go to a skilled nursing home to find women alive today who were born without the right to vote. Come November 2016, these elderly women will get a chance to do something their mothers never dreamed possible. Is that what the campaign of Hillary Clinton is all about? Hardly. But don’t discount that historic movement for a moment. It’s going to take their spirit to save this great land of ours.last_img read more

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Pandemic, polarization, purpose, and profit

first_imgScott is the Principal of Your Credit Union Partner, PLLC.Your Credit Union Partner (YCUP) is a trusted advisor to the leaders of more than 100 credit unions located throughout … Web: www.yourcupartner.org Details Someday, hopefully soon, the pandemic will be a historical event that most consumers have bounced back from physically and financially. However, for many consumers the bounce-back time will take significantly longer or not happen at all. The financial aftermath of the pandemic will further accelerate the income and quality of life polarization already underway.Today, during the midst of the pandemic, credit unions are demonstrating their value and commitment to serving consumers (and small businesses) faced with extreme financial challenges. These actions speak louder than words in conveying the credit union purpose. I believe these purposeful actions, for people in need, will result in longer-term credit union loyalty and sustainability (profit).However, I fear that once the pandemic is behind us, many will return to old routines and forget about the people who don’t bounce back as quickly.Polarization of income, equity, and inclusionIncome polarization describes a process in which income concentrates into two separate groups: one rich and another poor.  This means there are fewer people in the middle-income group and more in the high-income and low-income groups. This is a serious problem in many of the communities credit unions serve. For decades, the middle class has been shrinking.“Household incomes have grown only modestly in this century, and household wealth has not returned to its pre-2009 recession level. Economic inequality, whether measured through the gaps in income or wealth between richer and poorer households, continues to widen” (Pew 2020). The outcome of the 2020 recession could be far worse.There are many factors at play here, but regardless of the issue, the fact remains that there are more people (and more likely to follow) struggling financially.  These individuals are more likely to remain on the fringe, excluded from affordable financial services. They need a credit union.Purpose alignmentEverything we do, as people or as an organization, reflects our purpose.  One of the ways we can determine how closely we’re demonstrating our purpose is to listen to what other people appreciate about us. Judging by the massive media exposure and over-the-top member testimonials credit unions are receiving at the moment, I would say we are in the “people helping people” business and are at our collective best when we’re inclusive, helping our members solve financial challenges. I don’t recall a single news-related article in the past that praises the credit union space for having the best financial technology, or most robust menu of financial services. Over and over again, credit unions stand out when they demonstrate they are the consumer’s best financial advocate – especially for the “little guy” who is probably lower-middle-class, to low-income.There’s no need to return to “normal” after the pandemic is over.  There will remain a large and growing group of people who will continue to face financial challenges who we can serve AND continue to gain extraordinary brand recognition, loyalty, growth, and profitability.ProfitabilityNo doubt, working through the current economic recession is going to take its short-term toll on credit union earnings and capital. It will be painful. However, keep in mind the longer-term positive impacts that will result from credit unions stepping up and helping members through these tough times:Improved brand image – once again, people are seeing credit unions in the correct, purpose-aligned, light. Credit unions are reminding consumers, businesses, and communities that they are the best financial option for many. Credit unions put people above profits. Credit unions are “Financial First Responders!”Increased member loyalty – People forget common product and service commodities, but they are quick to remember people and organizations that stuck their necks out and helped them through a financial challenge.Purpose-driven actions and meaningful member financial outcomes are resulting in better legislative and regulatory recognition. These efforts are already resulting in big wins for credit unions.Collectively, improved brand impact, increased member loyalty, and an improved regulatory playing field will result in long-term membership growth and profitability.Why it mattersA look at changing market segmentations reveals an increasing number of people will need quality financial advice and flexible products designed and specifically aligned to help lower-income and credit-challenged consumers. Time and time again, credit unions demonstrate their best collective market niche is helping underserved consumers (and businesses). The credit union space is small. Credit unions can’t be all things to all groups. The closer credit unions can align their purpose of “people helping people” to need, the greater the opportunity for growth and long-term viability. 25SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Scott Butterfieldlast_img read more

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They’re back! Big increase in first home buyers in June quarter

first_imgAerial view of residential housing in Queensland. Picture: AAP/Dave Hunt.Queensland, Western Australia, Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory all experienced an increase in first home buyers during the June quarter, with the territories recording growth of 49.6 per cent and 40 per cent respectively.More from newsMould, age, not enough to stop 17 bidders fighting for this home1 hour agoBuyers ‘crazy’ not to take govt freebies, says 28-yr-old investor1 hour ago“The average loan size to first home buyers increased by 1.2 per cent over the June quarter and 0.6 per cent over twelve months to $365,600 with the average loan size to first home buyers decreasing in South Australia, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory over the quarter,” Mr Kasehagen said.“Year on year, the average loan size to first home buyers increased in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and the Northern Territory.”This is what you’ll get for $4.6m in BrisbaneThe 10 worst postcodes for mortgage stressHomes that’ll make you go greenThere was also some relief for renters during the June quarter.The proportion of median family income required to meet rental payments dropped by more than half a per cent to 24.3 per cent.Rental affordability improved slightly in Queensland, dropping 0.7 per cent to 23 per cent of income required to meet median rents. Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 1:25Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -1:25 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD540p540p360p360p270p270pAutoA, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenFirst home buyer struggles01:25FIRST home buyers have made a bold return to the property market after months on the sidelines, with Queensland welcoming the biggest increase.The latest report from the Real Estate Institute of Australia and Adelaide Bank reveals the number of loans to first time buyers increased by 14 per cent during the June quarter, with increases in all states and territories except Tasmania.That’s despite government grants for first time buyers in some states not coming into effect until July 1.Queensland welcomed more first-home buyers into the market than any time in the past year, with the number of loans increasing by nearly 12 per cent in the June quarter and almost 20 per cent compared to the same time last year.The average loan size for first home buyers in the state increased 1.5 per cent during the quarter to $296,033.Real Estate Institute of Queensland spokesperson Felicity Moore said that confirmed the Queensland market’s viability and good value proposition.“It’s also a reflection of the impact of the Government’s first-home buyer grant boost of an additional $5000 to a total of $20,000,” she said.“Young Queenslanders have seized upon the opportunity to jump on the property ladder and take their first steps to personal wealth creation.”Of all buyers in the market for their first home in the three months to June 30, more than a quarter were from Queensland.But Victoria tops the charts as the state with the largest number of first home buyers, followed closely by Queensland.Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:34Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:34 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD540p540p360p360p270p270pAutoA, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenMonthly Core Index: August00:34The June quarter edition of the Adelaide Bank/Real Estate Institute of Australia Housing Affordability Report shows a slight decline in housing affordability nationally, with the proportion of median family income required to meet average loan repayments increasing by 1 percentage point to 31.4 per cent — just above the 30 per cent threshold usually used to define mortgage stress.In Queensland, the proportion of income required to meet home loan repayments increased by half a per cent during the quarter to 27.2 per cent.That’s up a modest 0.2 per cent on the same period a year ago.The average monthly loan repayment in Queensland increased to $1,948, from $1,933 a year earlier.And the median weekly family income in the state is $1,651, according to the report.But Adelaide Bank head of business development Darren Kasehagen said that shouldn’t overshadow the good news that first home buyers had made a comeback. Real Estate Institute of Australia president Malcolm Gunning.Real Estate Institute of Australia president Malcolm Gunning said that while housing loan affordability had declined across the country, rental affordability had generally improved.“This improvement was recorded across all states and territories except in Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory,” he said.“Historically, rental affordability declined markedly from the June quarter 2007 reaching its lowest point in the March quarter 2010.“Since then rental affordability has been showing a trend improvement reflecting the pick-up ininvestment in housing from the end of 2011.”last_img read more

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Andrew Winter’s discontent leads straight to bulldozers

first_img“I don’t love it that much,” he told The Courier-Mail. “We’re living in it now but we’re moving out and bringing in bulldozers.”The couple are awaiting council approval to put in a three-storey luxury home with a roof terrace to make the most of the views. They hope they’ll have the go-ahead by “November-December time”. Andrew Winter’s 2019 Mermaid Beach purchase which is earmarked for demolition. The host of Selling House Australia is much kinder to homeowners Season 13 of Selling Houses Australia than he has been to himself. The first episode is 7.30pm QLD/8:30pm AEDT tonight on Foxtel’s LifeStyle channel.“We’ve never built a home like this before. It’s completely uncharted territory. It’s a narrow block and the living area will be on level three. It’s an interesting one and it’s taken a long time to get it to this stage.”He said the inclusion of the top-floor living room was at his wife’s insistence.“I was going for a living room in the middle, bedrooms on top and garages and a guest room on the ground floor. But no, the architect and my wife said entry on the middle level and living on the top and the roof terrace.” Clearance rates dive but still higher than 2019 You can only just make out the ocean now, but when they go three storeys up, it will be a different ballgame. Andrew Winter dislikes everything about this million-dollar property at present.“Unfortunately gravity doesn’t like that much, but it’s all good. It’s quite a design challenge. We’re very conscious about capturing the views.”The family loved the beach and the cafe lifestyle of Mermaid Beach.“Our kids are growing up. We moved out of central London to the suburbs of the Gold Coast and loved it. We’re facing the fact that we’re really townies, the coffee shop’s 10 minutes walk away as well as restaurants and bars. Forget the car, we don’t need it. We are embracing it.” He said it was about different stages for different people. “Some people will never have an urban desire, but there’s something great about waking up, seeing there’s no milk and thinking I’ll just go to the coffee shop. Then, of course, we won’t have a big backyard for a trampoline. It just depends on what you want.”Mr Winter said the shooting schedule for Selling Houses Australia – the 2020 season premieres Wednesday on Foxtel – was “pretty full on as usual”. Host of Selling House Australia Andrew Winter in an upcoming episode out of Queensland.Andrew Winter, the Selling Houses Australia TV show host and real estate guru, hates his home so much that he’s tearing it down and moving into “uncharted territory”.He and his wife Caroline bought a house in Mermaid Beach mid last year for $1.525m before selling their waterfront Sanctuary Cove five-bedroom home for $3.05m in December. Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:58Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:58 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD432p432p216p216p180p180pAutoA, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenHow much do I need to retire?00:58More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus9 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market9 hours ago FOLLOW SOPHIE FOSTER ON TWITTER MORE: Sweeping changes for real estate Most people would likely not mind this at all, but to each his own dream home.He was proud of their success helping most families on the show to sell their property, which at about 80 per cent sales.“Forget Love at First Sight, we’re on fire,” he said.He said the Queensland property market had not had the increases of Sydney and Melbourne, but was still “really strong”.“In the last 10 years, you’d be hard pressed to find properties that have doubled. We’ve still got room to grow in SEQ.” *Selling Houses Australia S13 premieres Wednesday, March 25 at 7:30pm QLD / 8:30pm AEDT on Foxtel’s LifeStyle.last_img read more

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Is this the best rooftop pool on the Gold Coast?

first_imgVideo Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 2:37Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -2:37 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels540p540p360p360p270p270pAutoA, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenSpring selling predictions for 202002:37A PALM Beach penthouse touted as having the best rooftop pool on the Gold Coast is on the market with a $3.995 million price tag.The two-level 450sq m apartment is in new development 77 Jefferson, which was completed last month.The luxury penthouse at 9/77 Jefferson Lane, Palm Beach is on the market.Entertain in style.MORE NEWS: Auction set for epic Gold Coast mansion once listed for $45mGold Coast property: Oxenford house takes inspiration from the Hollywood Hills“It’s got such a point of difference compared to other penthouses on the Coast,” said Olindah Property Group’s James Meredith, who is marketing the property alongside Nicole Riley.“Exclusive to the penthouse is a large pool, kitchenette, undercover barbecue, 5.4m stone bench, sunrise and sunset lounges, dining area and bathroom facilities.“It’s an entertainer’s dream.”The penthouse offers views south to Coolangatta.Find a better spot to relax on the Gold Coast.He said the outlook from the penthouse stretched as far south as Coolangatta and back to the Surfers Paradise skyline and beyond.“As far as the view goes, you’ve got everything you could ever want,” he said.The four-bedroom penthouse also features timber floors, glass stacker doors and a butler’s pantry.Inside the luxury abode.Views from every room.More from news02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa7 hours ago02:37Gold Coast property: Sovereign Islands mega mansion hits market with $16m price tag1 day agoDeveloper BluePoint Property is behind the 10-level apartment building, which features eight full floor apartments.The project was designed by Bureau Proberts and built by Hutchinson Builders.“The penthouse is the only apartment still available as all the others sold off-the-plan early on,” Mr Meredith said.“It was under contract for a while but has recently come back on the market.”Make a splash in the rooftop pool.Mr Meredith expected strong interest in the penthouse as the spring selling season kicked up a gear.“Palm Beach is obviously a hot suburb at the moment,” he said.“To assist with the demand of interstate and foreign inquiry, the online listing includes an interactive virtual tour, along with a fly-through video to showcase the property.“Some inquiries requested an inspection via Facetime and were comfortable purchasing a property at this level site unseen.”last_img read more

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Madagascar plague outbreak kills 40

first_imgHealthInternationalLifestylePrint Madagascar plague outbreak kills 40 by: BBC News – November 22, 2014 Sharing is caring! Share The authorities can use insecticide to try to halt outbreaks of the plagueAn outbreak of plague in Madagascar has killed 40 people and infected almost 80 others, the World Health Organization has said.The WHO warned of the danger of a “rapid spread” of the disease in the capital, Antananarivo.The situation is worsened by high levels of resistance among fleas to a leading insecticide, the WHO added.Humans usually develop the bubonic form of the plague after being bitten by an infected flea carried by rodents.If diagnosed early, bubonic plague can be treated with antibiotics.But 2% of the cases in Madagascar are the more dangerous pneumonic form of the disease, which can be spread person-to-person by coughing.The first known case in the outbreak was a man in Soamahatamana village in the district of Tsiroanomandidy, about 200km west of Antananarivo, at the end of August.There have been two confirmed cases in the capital, including one death.“There is now a risk of a rapid spread of the disease due to the city’s high population density and the weakness of the healthcare system,” the WHO said.A task force has been activated to manage the outbreak.Last year health experts warned that the island was facing a plague epidemic unless it slowed the spread of the disease. It said that inmates in Madagascar’s rat-infested jails were particularly at risk. Tweetcenter_img 331 Views   no discussions Share Sharelast_img read more

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It’s not all about RVP – Monreal

first_imgArsenal’s showdown against new Barclays Premier League champions Manchester United on Sunday must not just be all about Robin van Persie, according to Gunners defender Nacho Monreal. Press Association Passions still run high among some of the Emirates Stadium faithful by the manner in which the Holland forward left last summer in a £24million move, and there have been suggestions those disgruntled fans will turn their backs in protest when the teams come out from the tunnel ahead of a guard of honour to mark United’s achievements. But Spain full-back Monreal said: “Teams like Manchester United don’t just have gifted wingers, they have a squad with a lot of depth. Their players are of the highest level, you can’t just focus on one player because their team is full of players who can create and score.” center_img Full-back Monreal, who joined Arsenal from Malaga in January, added: “We must be on our guard and be aware of certain key players, like Robin, who has scored a sack of goals this year and is playing well. He is one of their main threats. “They are one of the biggest teams in England and they are having an exceptional season. It is one of those games every player wants to be involved in, but there are three points at stake and that is what we are aiming for. They may be a very strong opponent, but we are also a very good team and can win the match.” Gunners boss Arsene Wenger, meanwhile, admits losing striker Olivier Giroud to a three-game ban is a “blow” – but one which his side must learn to deal with if they are to hold on to a place in the top four. Giroud was shown a straight red card by referee Andre Marriner in the final minute of last Saturday’s 1-0 win at Fulham for jumping into a challenge with defender Stanislav Manolev. Although Wenger initially indicated he felt the dismissal had been warranted, after review the club appealed, which was on Tuesday rejected by the Football Association. Wenger must now re-evaluate his attacking options for crucial games against United on Sunday, then at QPR and home to Wigan before Giroud, who has netted 17 goals, will be eligible again on the final day at Newcastle. “It is a blow that we cannot have him available. We will have to do without him and we will do it,” Wenger said. “It is a harsh decision. After the game, I was a little bit less convinced that he didn’t deserve the red card, but having seen it again, I feel it is completely accidental and a very minor incident.”That is why I decided to appeal. I am sad that it didn’t work, but we have to cope with it.” last_img read more

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Holtby frustrated at Tottenham

first_img The former Schalke midfielder has been linked with a return to the Bundesliga with Hamburg, and he admits it may well be an attractive prospect. “We’re just going to have to see what happens in the next few days and weeks,” he told t-online.de. “I’m a young player and I want to be playing all the time. That’s very important for me, for my development and for my career.” Holtby, who finishes last season on loan at Fulham, has found his opportunities limited at Spurs with new coach Mauricio Pochettino not giving him much consideration in the first few weeks of the season. However Holtby, who has a contract until 2018 with Spurs, still hopes he will get to prove his worth in London. “Preferably, I would stay here with Tottenham of course and that’s why I really hope that I get a chance,” he added. Lewis Holtby has admitted he could be moving on from Tottenham Hotspur this summer due to a lack of first-team action at White Hart Lane.center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

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